Kurvinen’s party buddy Petri Honkonen to take over the science and culture portfolio, party representatives said at a news conference Thursday morning. Honkonen, a 34-year-old Member of Parliament from Central Finland, has a master’s degree in history.
The change of ministry began with the announcement of the current Minister of Agriculture Jari Leppä (Cen) that he plans to retire at the end of this term, just over a year from now.
The party leaders decided on a mid-term changeover, at which point the Central Party, the parliamentary delegation and MEPs proposed Kurvinen to the post.
"I have no illusions about the situation I am in or the seriousness of the situation in the agricultural sector," Kurvinen said at a news conference on Thursday. "My task is to ensure that domestic food production is maintained in Finland. My pen is now being replaced by a plow."
Kurvinen is a lawyer by profession and said that he understands agricultural issues, as his close associates are in the field. The city center has historically had close ties to the farmers’ association MTK.
Crisis in the agricultural sector
Energy and fertilizer prices have risen sharply, while revenues from product sales have not matched costs.
Russia’s war in Ukraine is also disrupting world food supplies and trade, causing further problems for the sector.
The Finnish government has agreed on an emergency package of EUR 300 million to support domestic food production, but the details of the package and its implementation are still pending.
Support could be channeled to farms, for example, through higher subsidies or lower taxes. Concrete decisions are expected next week as the five-party government begins budget framework negotiations.
Source: The Nordic Page